Those of state pension age with a long-term illness or disability could claim Attendance Allowance. This is a benefit payment administered by the DWP to help pensioners with a condition which is severe enough that they require someone to look after them. However, recipients could lose access to this support if they fail to inform the Department of life changes which are relevant to their claim.
How much is Attendance Allowance?
The benefit payment is paid at two different rates, one higher and the other lower, which are awarded depending on how much support someone needs.
As it stands, the lower rate of Attendance Allowance is given to those who need “frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night”, according to the DWP.
In comparison, the benefit payment’s higher rate is awarded to state pensioners who need “help or supervision throughout both day and night” or if they have six months left to live.
Attendance Allowance’s lower rate is £61.85 per week while the higher payment comes to £92.40.
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It should be noted the benefit payment for those on the state pension is not means-tested by the DWP.
This means someone’s savings, pension and income does not affect what they will be awarded.
Anyone who is in receipt of Attendance Allowance could get extra Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction.
To enquire about receiving any of these payment boosts or concessions should contact the benefit payment’s helpline on 0800 731 0122.
Who needs to report life changes to the DWP?
If someone experiences a life or circumstance change which affects their claim, claimants will need to inform the Government Department.
It is vital Attendance Allowance recipients report life changes to the DWP as there could be serious consequences.
These could include being taken to court or having to pay a serious financial penalty on top of losing their benefit payment.
This would happen if they share incorrect information or do not report a change in their individual circumstances.
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Anyone looking to inform the DWP of changes should contact them directly through the Attendance Allowance helpline.
Recipients should be aware they may need to repay any money they have been awarded if they have been paid too much.
State pensioners could have to pay back their Attendance Allowance if they did not report a life change immediately, gave wrong information or were overpaid accidentally.
Failure to report a DWP overpayment could result in claimants being charged with benefit fraud.